Weather Advisory: Dense Fog Tonight

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Nov 262020

If you are going out tonight to get a jump on the Black Friday early shopping opportunities, be aware of this weather advisory from the National Weather Service.
There will be areas of dense fog across portions of Southern Connecticut this evening.
Visibilities will be generally 1 to 3 miles but reduced locally to one-quarter mile or less at times.

If driving, slow down, use your low beam headlights, and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you in case a sudden stop is needed.

An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely.

Opinion: A Covid Thanksgiving

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Nov 262020

It’s Thanksgiving, a day when I would normally wish everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving.” But this year, in the age of Covid, I wish you all health.

When I picked up my granddaughter from school yesterday, she was so happy and excited. She cheerfully said goodbye to her beloved teacher, an Amity resident, and promised to see her on their virtual homeschool lesson on Monday.

Then she skipped over to my car and jumped into the back seat and fastened her seat belt. “Guess What?” she said bursting with excitement. “I have a playdate with Mary today! I can’t wait! it’s going to be so much fun! Best day ever!”

Within seconds, my phone rang and my daughter said, “Thanksgiving is canceled.”

This prompted both me and my granddaughter to ask in unison, “What? Why?”

She explained that a text just came through from the school that a child in my granddaughter’s classroom had tested positive for Covid, and she would have to go into quarantine for 2 weeks.

As for Thanksgiving, that meant, my daughter would not be cooking for me, my ex-husband and son, and my granddaughter would not be going to see her father at his parent’s home to spend the holiday with their extended family.

The little girl in the back seat burst into tears, not because of her playdate, not because of Thanksgiving, but because of Covid.

“I could be dying right now,” she cried. “I could have given it to you and you could die. I could have given it to my mommy and she could die.”

All of the fear in that 9-year-old’s mind came pouring out. If anyone she loved became sick it would be HER fault, she thought because she had been in the same classroom with someone who was infected with the virus. “If I had just been homeschooled instead of going to school this wouldn’t have happened,” she said, wrought with guilt.

I assured her that we all would be very careful and get tested as soon as possible, and whatever the results, NOTHING IS HER FAULT. I could sick from getting on the elevator after someone with no mask was in there (even though I always wear my mask). I can go down the stairs like a mountain goat, but climbing up four flights kills my grandmother’s knees — so, I take the elevator.

I asked  my granddaughter if she would like to write a column about her feelings and she said yes, but that she would mail it to me … why? I don’t know! She may change her mind, I hope not because her thoughts on this subject, especially at this time of year are very important.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy and HEALTHY Thanksgiving. I hope that you are celebrating with just your core family knowing that by sacrificing the big, traditional event this year, you are making way for a real one next year and for years to come. — There’s no sense in making gramma sick for one day of togetherness. Sure, Facetime stinks, Zoom is sometimes awkward, but at least it’s safe.

This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, everywhere. If we just respect the nasty virus and take every precaution to keep it at bay, then we will most likely ALL be able to get together again in 2021, talk face-to-face without fear and even give one another a hug instead of those awful elbow bumps.

At the moment I am getting ready to pick up a Thanksgiving dinner with all of my family favorites prepared by a good friend. My daughter also prepared a plate for me, which I will gladly have for dinner tomorrow night. What’s more traditional than Thanksgiving leftovers? It’s the “New Normal.”





Don’t Be A Victim! Lock Your Car!

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Nov 252020

An important message from the Assistant Police Chief:

The Town of Orange, as well as most surrounding communities in and around the state, continues to see a rise in the number of thefts from motor vehicles as well as the theft of motor vehicles themselves. A common denominator in almost all these incidents is that the vehicles have been left unlocked.
Besides the theft of personal items, this has also led to the theft of many vehicles with the keys left inside. In addition, within the last two weeks, we have also had three vehicles stolen from local businesses in which the owners had left their vehicles running and unoccupied for a short period of time.

The Orange Police Department would like everyone to be safe and to follow these simple tips: • Do not leave vehicles unattended, both at commercial establishments and in your own driveway. As the weather gets colder, people are tempted to start their vehicles to warm the engine up or keep the engine running when they make a quick stop.

• With the holiday right around the corner, please do not leave packages visible inside your unoccupied vehicles as you do your shopping. Unfortunately, history has shown us that there are people who roam parking lots this time of year looking for easy targets.

• Lastly, please remember to remove keys and valuables from your vehicle and make sure all doors are locked. We encourage everyone to call the police if they see any suspicious activity in their neighborhood. Please do not approach nor confront suspicious persons.

Assistant Chief Max Martins 

Orange Police Department

New Music At The Library

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Nov 232020

The Case Memorial Library just brought in a nice variety of new Music CDs.

Each title is linked to its catalog entry, where you can place a request to pick up the item at the Case Memorial Library.

Adagio for strings / Barber. In praise of Shahn ; To thee old cause / Schuman.

American head / The Flaming Lips.

Fall to pieces / Tricky.

Legends never die / Juice WRLD.

Palo Alto / Thelonious Monk.

Tea for the tillerman 2 / Yusuf/Cat Stevens.

The ascension / Sufjan Stevens.

This dream of you / Diana Krall.


The Library offers curbside pickup and computer use by appointment.
Phone: 203-891-2170
Visit our Facebook page


While You’re Out Today Give To Those In Need

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Nov 212020

The Community Champions Network and Coldwell Banker Realty present Stuff A Bus 2020.

This was a year wrought with negativity and uncertainty, but you have a chance to bring something positive to those who are suffering most.

The Network is collecting non-perishable food items, new toys for tots, new hats and gloves, and new blankets for seniors.

Today you can help them stuff the bus with these precious items that will help make the holiday season a little brighter for children families and seniors in the community.

Today is the first big in-person collection drive. it will take place at Shop Rite of Derby, 49 Pershing Drive, Derby from 12 – 2 p.m.

In the coming weeks, other sites will host the collection drives. Also, if your company is willing to collect donations, volunteers will pick up and deliver them to the Network. For more information, contact Myla Chadwick at myla@communitychampionsnetwork.com or call/text 203-376-6461.

Boy Scout Troop 12 Practices Camping Safely During Pandemic

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Nov 182020

This year has become a major challenge for scouting. The pandemic has made meeting and scheduling events difficult, but Troop 12 has succeeded to stay connected successfully so far.

Scouts from Troop 12 recently camped at Camp Pomperaug in Union, CT during the first
weekend of November. The scouts followed all the current COVID rules set by the state and local council and were able to enjoy a beautiful tent camping weekend.

The Troop’s SPL (Senior Patrol Leader), Ben Cap, along with the leaders, helped plan and organize the weekend’s activities. The plan was to work with the newer Boy Scouts on outdoor, nature, and fire building skills.

During the camping trip, scouts Tim Cap and Frankie Cavallaro were the two assigned cooks, cooking for the 15 scouts and leaders in attendance. Both scouts were working towards their cooking merit badge requirements.

Scouts explored the camp and ventured on hiking trails to view the entire camp and the
surrounding lake and small islands.

Boy Scout Troop 12, chartered by the VFW Post 7788, meets at the St. Agnes Church hall every Thursday. Scouts currently belonging to the troop are from Milford and Orange.

Boys in grades 6 through high school can join scouts. Visit the Troop 12 website at
www.troop12milfordct.com for additional information or email contact@troop12milfordct.com.

Winter Sports Postponed Until Mid-January

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Nov 172020

I grew up in a house where baseball was the go-to sport in the family. Everyone, including my mother rooted for the Yankees, and to this day, that’s where their loyalty lies.

I collected baseball cards for the collectibility aspect with the hopes of possessing a valuable one someday. But watching the sport just didn’t thrill me as much as the other folks in the house.

So imagine my surprise when I grew to love a sport that was the “polar” opposite of that played by the boys of summer.

When I started Orange Live in 2012, after paying out ALL of the revenue to a sports writer, I smartened up, let him go and started covering the games myself. Ice Hockey was coming up and, even though I wasn’t fond of the cold, I became fond of Amity’s Boy’s Hockey Assistant Coach Mike “Scooter” Richetelli, my go-to guy for information after games.

Gary Lindgren wasn’t much of a talker and Mike was easy going and patient even after a rough game and he had what it took to put up with someone like me who didn’t know squat about sports reporting.

Ice Hockey has remained one of my all-time favorite high school sports. Both the Amity Boys team and the Girls’ Interschool team have held my attention and my heart for many years.

Which brings me to today’s CIAC News Update:

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in Connecticut, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Board of Control announced its decision to postpone the start of winter sports until Thursday, January 19, 2021.

In a statement the CIAC stated in part, “The Board of Control will continue to collaborate with the DPH, Governor Lamont’s office, and the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee in the weeks leading up to the January 19th start of winter practices.”

“Today’s action supports our member schools while they continue to manage rising COVID numbers within their communities and experience widespread movements to distance learning,” they added.

I am home today dealing with what may (or may not) be symptoms of the coronavirus, so I totally agree with the extra precautions that the state is taking to protect our health, as painful as it may be to our business owners, students and athletes, I strongly believe that if we don’t do something NOW we may never be rid of this ugly virus.

So, as much as I was looking forward to Hockey season, I guess it will have to wait, and our boys and girls will have time to get conditioned, practice, and then kick some ice come January.

I’ll see you then Scooter.






BOS Agenda Includes Racism as a Public Health Crisis

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Nov 172020

The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen will be a ZOOM format taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7B Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, this meeting will be held remotely with no in-person attendance.

The meeting will still be broadcast live on OGAT.

Call to order Introductions


PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (2 minutes per speaker)




1.Expansion Project – Michael Gray, Director of Business and Operations, Orange BOE

To consider and act on the request to approve the bid for Turkey Hill School Loading Dock

2. Bob Brinton, Town Engineer

To consider and act on the request to approve the bid for Silverbrook Estates Fire Sprinkler System

3. To consider and act on Racism as a Public Health Crisis – First Selectman Zeoli

4. To consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling $9,886.74


1. Discussion of pay rates and insurance co-pays for non-union salary and hourly positions

2. Discussion ofadiustmems to positions

3. Discussion of potential land acquisition

Close Executive Session and convene into the Regular Meeting


1. To consider and act on pay rates and insurance co-pays for noti-union salary and hourly positiom

2. To consider and act on adiustments to position

3. To comider and act on potemial land acquisition


1. Pension Board – Selectman Goldblatt
2. Emergency Management – Selectman Novicki
3. Capital Planning – Selectman Okenquist
4. Bond Construction Oversight – Selectman Goldblatt
s. Personnel – First Selectman Zeoli, Selectman Okenquist & Novicki



* Approved Minutes of the Public Hearing regarding a massage establishment permit and the September 9, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Board of Selectmen

* *

Approved Schedule of 2021-2022 Board of Selectmen Meetings Appointments/Re-Appointments

Scouts Host Annual Wreath Sale This Saturday

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Nov 162020

Scout Pack 922 will host its annual wreath sale on Saturday, November 21 in the front parking lot of the High Plains Community Center, from 10 am to 2 pm.

This fundraiser will allow the pack fund partial costs for events like our campouts, rocket derby, and the pinewood derby.

Mark your calendar for this Saturday, they’ll be happy to see you. Stay safe, Social Distancing and Masks are strongly encouraged.

Opinion: Today Is My Independence Day

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Nov 162020

Back in 2009, I was a 52-year-old workaholic. Nothing made me happier than my busy work of running from assignment to assignment covering the three Amity towns of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge for the Amity Observer Newspaper — Remember that one?

On holidays, I’d find the best backroads and make it, on time, to wreath-laying ceremonies, tree lightings, craft fairs, parades, etc. and I never felt burned out. It’s just what I did.

At one point, I had a part-time job at a grocery store and took evening EMT classes at a community college, and, my personal favorite, giving my Golden Retriever, Baron, nightly intense obedience training sessions in an empty parking lot near my home.

In August, 2009, after weeks of ignoring classic symptoms of transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or mini-strokes — most obvious was my foot dragging behind on a treadmill at the gym, it happened: I didn’t turn in a completed newspaper to our graphic guru, Mario, by 9 p.m. the night before deadline day. Mario always took an “ok” front page and rearranged things to make it look “great.” {He is available, now if anyone needs an amazing, dependable graphic designer)

Mario knew something was wrong, but, I just thought I was having an off night. By the next morning, I still hadn’t written any of my front page stories and half of the inside pages were empty as well, but I wasn’t concerned.

Every Tuesday, for years, I’d gone into the office, finished the busy-work necessary to get the completed paper off to the printing plant, and then started working on the following week’s edition.

But on this particular Tuesday, I roamed around the office, didn’t do much real work and I was oblivious to the fact that four other newspaper editors were depending upon me to get my butt in gear and finish my paper so they could finish theirs.

At 2 p.m. I wandered into Mario’s office with a photo, or a question or something, and he said, “What the F#@k is wrong with you? You’re four hours late.”

I looked at him and asked, “What time am I supposed to be done?”

He glared and said, “11 o’clock, the plant keeps calling me. You’re holding everything up.”

I looked at the clock, counted back in my mind, and, still nothing registered. I couldn’t imagine why everyone in the office was mad at me.

Eventually, with some forced help, the newspaper DID get out that day, just uncharacteristically late.

To make a long story short, and spare you all the boring details, It took two days for me to finally go to the doctor. Our company had just changed insurance carriers and I wasn’t sure if I was covered, so, I didn’t go.

One of the original stroke images

Those two days were a blank, I don’t know how I functioned, or if I felt any different, the one thing that’s for certain is that Baron was by my side when I was home — he was my shadow.

When I finally did go to the doctor, a co-worker showed up in her office out-of-the-blue, and answered all of the questions about symptoms and insurance for me, since, by that time, I was completely incapable of answering anything.

After a few seconds with me and my friend, the doctor came to her own wickedly accurate conclusion and sent me for an MRI. Within 30 minutes of leaving THAT office, the doc was calling to tell me, “You had a stroke. Go to the hospital, NOW.”

Two More Strokes

In August, I spent nearly a week in the hospital with test after test, visits from my daughter and just a couple of other people (I wasn’t that popular, I guess).

Luckily, to stave off the boredom, I had my laptop with me and I was able to get some work done, in spite of strict orders not to do anything for the newspaper while I was recovering.  One specific memory was interviewing Patti Clark from Maple View Farm for the last installment of my Open Farms series. My Executive Editor said someone else would do it, but I insisted since I’d written all of the other parts of the series and wanted to keep it uniform — she reluctantly agreed, mainly because there was no way to win an argument with me regarding the Observer’s content, even if I was supposedly resting after having a stroke.

Before I returned to work, I had another smaller stroke — not a TIA, but a stroke — still, I was so lucky not to suffer any obvious lasting complications.

I finally did get back to the office and put out a couple of editions before it was time for me to take a long-awaited vacation to Maine.

I went to a well respected New Haven hospital for a final MRI and clearance to make the solo trip to Mount Desert Island, Maine (Where Bar Harbor can be found).

The doctor said I was fine, the MRI was clear and driving for 9 hours alone and staying in a vacation home, alone would not be a problem. So, the following day, with confidence in my health, I left.

I loved Maine, the peacefulness of sitting on the steps of the library in Somesville, chatting up a little chipmunk and taking photos of the boundless beauty around me.

A blurry “stroke” photo from 2009

On the third day of my getaway, I decided to drive to the mainland to try and spot a moose, but after a couple of hours in unfamiliar territory, I was driving on a deserted dirt road when, suddenly, I couldn’t complete a yawn. No big deal for any other human being, but for me, it was a sure sign that I was having a stroke. The doctors at the hospital in New Haven had disregarded this as a symptom, making me feel like I was stupid whenever I mentioned it, but for me, it was very real. The photos I took on that dirt road were blurry and I had no idea where I was.

My old-fashioned GPS didn’t work if it was plugged in, and the charge was so low that it wouldn’t even take me to a main thoroughfare. I asked my dad, who’d died more than a dozen years earlier, if he could help me get back to the island, and somehow without any guidance, except my father at the wheel, I found myself on the back porch of the vacation house.

Facebook was a friend back in those days. I put a shout-out on my page and friends and acquaintances immediately chimed in.

I called 9-1-1, and within a few minutes, an ambulance pulled up. I thought I’d just go to the hospital, get checked out and come back to the house — which is what happened at the New Haven area hospital. I left the computer on the table along with my camera and after assuring the Paramedic that I, Indeed was the patient, I climbed into the back of the ambulance for a very short ride to the tiny Mount Desert Island Hospital.

The doctor took my complaint of an unfinished yawn and stabbing headache very seriously, and decided to keep me there for a while. Since I didn’t have my computer or any way to communicate with the outside world, the hospital landline became my lifeline and my friend Kathleen became my voice back home in CT, relaying all of the updates as they unfolded, through Facebook.

The wonderful doctors and nurses fought with the insurance company to get coverage for an MRI and MRA, even though I had just had an MRI in New Haven less than a week earlier, and what they found was astounding. I had to get back to CT where I could see a neurologist.

My daughter rallied my ex-husband and a former newspaper intern to take the trip to Maine to drive me back. They arrived on what would have been my wedding anniversary.

Once home, we went directly back to that big New Haven hospital, where the doctor looked at my MRI/MRA images and totally disregarded what he saw, mainly because they were from an inferior small-town hospital in Maine. He told me that I didn’t have a stroke, but that I was having complications from diabetes — which, at the time, no one had EVER even mentioned, even though I had daily blood tests at previous hospital stays.

I left the hospital without checking out, disgusted with that “doctor’s” attitude and I asked my primary doctor to refer me to a “real” neurologist. I’ve never trusted that big reputable hospital since.

A week passed and my awesome neurologist hooked me up with the “best neurosurgeon” at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Which brings me to My Independence Day.

I met with Dr. Goban in New York, and after going over the images from Mount Desert Island Hospital, he showed me the trouble spot where an artery had collapsed and was restricting blood flow in my brain.

He gave me a game plan and on November 16, 2009, I went under the knife and my mind has been at ease for the past 11 years.

The only lasting complications I have after three strokes, is short term memory loss, reading comprehension, and some organizational skills. Other than these, I’m doing and feeling fine.

I thank the doctors who believed in me and took my “frivolous” complaints seriously,  especially, the staff at Mount Desert Island Hospital and Dr. Goban. Thanks to you I am still a functioning human being. Not as sharp as I’d like to be, but functioning.

So Happy Independence Day to Me!